Raymond G. Lahoud has established himself as a preeminent immigration lawyer with a global practice focused on corporate and employment immigration issues as well as immigration litigation.
As Chair of Norris McLaughlin’s Immigration Law Practice Group, Ray represents individuals and families, domestic and multinational businesses and corporations, employers, international employees, investors, students, professors, researchers, skilled professionals, athletes, and entertainers. He skillfully assembles a team to strategically work together, including the firm’s immigration attorneys, employer immigration auditors, and other immigration professionals to help domestic and foreign clients navigate every type of immigration or deportation defense matter. Ray has distinguished himself as an attorney who provides tailored solutions and valuable guidance to his clients, based upon his in-depth knowledge of immigration law. Ray’s extraordinary creativity, distinguished advocacy skills, and true passion for his immigration practice have helped countless individuals, families, and organizations of all types and sizes to resolve the most complex of immigration concerns.
Throughout his legal career, Ray has been recognized for both his knowledge of immigration law and the level of service he provides to his clients. These honors include the following:
- Lehigh Valley Business’ 2023 “Power List in Law”
- Lehigh Valley Business’ 2023 “Power 100” List
- New York State Bar Association’s Empire State Counsel Award (2012 – 2022), recognizing members who performed 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services.
- Martindale-Hubbell Platinum Client Champion Award (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022)
- New York Super Lawyer in Immigration Law (2023)
- New York Super Lawyer “Rising Stars” in Immigration Law (2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022)
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyer “Rising Stars” in Immigration Law (2013)
- EB5 Investors Magazine “Top 5 Rising Stars in the EB-5 Industry” (2017)
- Lehigh Valley Business’ 2021 “Power 30 in Law”
- Lehigh Valley Business’ “Forty Under 40” Class of 2017
- America’s Most Honored, Lawyers, Top Five Percent (2020, 2021m and 2023)
- America’s Most Honored, Lawyers, Top Ten Percent (2022)
- America’s Most Honored, Legal Professionals (2016, 2018, and 2019)
- Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award (2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016)
- AVVO Top Rated Lawyer (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023)
Ray is often called on to lecture and write about, discuss, and provide insight into the complex area of immigration law by universities, researchers, and media outlets from all corners of the globe, including an NBC News special on his practice – Living in Limbo: Lawyer Navigates Trump Stance on Immigration.
Corporate Immigration & Employer Compliance
Ray works with multinational corporations on the global migration of their workforce and advises on international transactions and contracts concerning immigration compliance, international employee recruitment, cross-border trade matters, immigration implications related to mergers & acquisitions, and is a recognized authority on Employer Immigration Compliance, such as Form I-9, Employment Eligibility, compliance, audits, raids, investigations, negotiations, and litigation. Ray has worked with businesses of all sizes in nearly every industry, from healthcare and manufacturing to entertainment and sports., athletes, diplomats, general counsels, artists, and others from across the globe. They call on Ray’s immigration expertise to listen, assist, counsel, advise, and resolve concerns.
Ray also litigates corporate immigration matters before the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, the Department of Homeland Security’s Investigative bodies and agencies, the State Department, the United States Court of Appeals for International Trade, the Customs & Border Protection review board, federal immigration courts, and federal district and circuit courts across the United States. The corporate and employer compliance portion of Ray’s practice includes all non-immigrant and immigrant visas, recruitment of international talent and students, and consular processing.
He has extensive experience with immigrant and non-immigrant visas, visa overstays, immigrants who entered without inspection or authorization, EB-5 investor visas (serving investors, regional centers, and project developers), and citizenship and naturalization claims; and has worked with a full range of immigrant and non-immigrant visas and visa-related issues.
- Immigrant Employee Petitions
- B-1, Visitors for Business
- E-1, Treaty Trader
- E-2, Treaty Investor
- E-3, Australian Specialty Worker
- H-1B Visas
- H-2B Visas
- H-3, Trainee
- J-1, Scholar, Trainee, Researcher, Short Term Worker
- L Blank Petitions
- L-1A, Multinational Executive or Manager
- L-1B, Specialized Worker
- P Visas
- Q Visas
- R Visas
- TN Visas – USMCA/NAFTA
- Exceptional Ability Immigrant Visas
- Extraordinary Ability Immigrant Visas
- Physician and Nursing Visas
- Multinational Manager/Executive Immigrant Visas
- Outstanding Professor/Researcher Immigrant Visas
- PERM Labor Certification
Individual Immigration, Family Immigration, & Deportation Defense
As the son of immigrants, Ray has long understood the uncertainties and challenges that all immigrants and their families face when working through America’s complex immigration laws, whether seeking a marriage, fiancé, work, student, or visitor visa; seeking citizenship, asylum, or VAWA; or facing deportation as a result of a visa overstay, an undocumented entry, or a criminal conviction.
In his years of practice, Ray has skillfully and successfully served thousands of individuals from all over the world seeking a pathway—whether temporary or permanent—to, or protection in, the United States, including the follow:
- Family and Marriage Petitions
- Fiancé Visas (K-1)
- K-3 Spousal Visas
- Adjustment of Status
- Asylum and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT)
- Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protection
- Immigration Waivers (including the Visa Waiver Program, National Interest Waivers, Hardship Waivers, and J Waivers)
- Student Visas, STEM and non-STEM Occupational Practical Training (OPT)
- Research and Scholar Visas
- Individuals of Extraordinary Ability
- Visitor Visas for Business and Pleasure
Ray’s deportation defense and litigation work has involved the most complex of issues, representing thousands before United States Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Administrative Appeals Office, and federal district and circuit courts. He has never feared a legal challenge. For example, Ray was one of the first immigration attorneys to successfully challenge the federal government’s mandatory immigration detention statute, securing federal court precedential opinions that granted due process rights to immigrants who were otherwise subject to indefinite government custody. Ray advocates tirelessly for his clients, seeking post-conviction relief for the underlying crime that led to the removal proceedings and serving as immigration counsel to non-citizens accused of removable crimes. His ability to understand each interaction and nuance of criminal law within the framework of immigration law has made him a leading professional in the niche area of “crimigration.’
While attending Georgetown University Law Center, Ray worked on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, received CALI awards in several courses, and was named to the Dean’s List. He was also involved in the Barristers’ Counsel, the ABA Law Student Division, the ACLU at GULC, the Catholic Student Association, and the Innocence Project. Ray also worked for the Honorable Joanna Seybert, Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York and served as a United States Congressional Page under then-Congressman and former U.S. Transportation Secretary under President Barack Obama, Ray LaHood (R-IL) and was a legislative aide to State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-PA).
A graduate of Lehigh University, Ray was named to the Dean’s list each term and was also recognized as a Lehigh University President’s Scholar. He was the Editor of The Lehigh Review, inducted into Phi Beta Delta and was honored with the Williams Award, the Treen Scholarship, and the Littner Scholarship.
Ray continues to demonstrate his commitment to his profession and community through his active membership in the legal industry on several bar associations, serving on various committees and in leadership roles, as well as on several non-profit boards, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Easton and the Iraqi Children’s Foundation.
Ray lives in Upper Saucon Township, Pennsylvania, with his two awesome dogs, Maggie and Toby.